Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Mountain Biking

The Illawarra will be hosting it's first Dirt Audax series this coming season, and I've made up my mind to participate.

In my youth I was a keen trail rider, exploring many of the dirt tracks around Newcastle on my trusty dragster. On moving to the 'gong I purchased my first (and only) Mountain Bike, an Avanti Montari and explored a few trails and rode the 2004 NSW bike ride before stepping up to a road bike and etc.

So the Montari has been hanging in the shed for a few years now and this last week I've taken it down and dusted it off in order to prepare for the dirt series, the first ride of which is in December.

Earlier in the week I took it on a brief shakedown around the local cycle paths with a kilometer or so of creek side dirt. This morning I was more ambitious and headed off for a climb up the escarpment heading for Brokers Nose.

I really enjoyed this ride as it was a complete adventure for me, I was riding into unkown territory and my MTB skills had yet to be tested.

I set off across the usual cycleways heading for Tarrawana, got a bit lost, but eventually found my way to the old road to the Mine. Ignoring various signs of peril I jumped the gate and commenced the climb upwards on a sealed surface to the old mine workings before jumping another gate and hitting dirt.

From there it was up and down along either wider fire tracks and single track but essentially traversing  a ridge line at about 230 meters. After a while I became increasingly suspicious that I was lost, had missed a turn somehow and the garmin refused to clarify my position or show the tracks I thought should be there.

Time was getting on so I eventually turned back and headed for home, only to find out later that I was only a few hundred meters from the track I wanted that would lead me to the Nose. Not to worry, I'll try again later.

I really enjoyed the ride and despite my MTB rustiness was soon enjoying weight shifting and the rush of descending rock strewn singletrack. Wish I was younger sometimes!

I took some photos too -

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